| A Master Gardener's
guide to gardening in a hot dry climate
Hot Gardens Newsletter:
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Plants that Hummingbirds
An Anna's hummingbird is now
visiting the lemon tree (Citrus
'Eureka') outside our kitchen window many
times a day. The tree is in full bloom and has become
a primary food source for this tiny creature. Some
days this hummingbird darts from the lemon blossoms to the
bright orange nasturtiums
Even the pink
geraniums (Pelargoniums) receive
an occasional visit as the hummingbird makes her
rounds of this aviary grocery store.
These are only a few of
dozens of plants to add to your garden to attract
and feed hummingbirds year 'round.
Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta))
grows fast to 20 feet long or more and produces dazzling
orange blossoms. In warm winter areas it flowers from
fall through winter, attracting hummingbirds for months
on end. It climbs by twining tendrils and can be easily
cut back after the flowers fade.
(Campsis radicans), a native American vine,
is another fast grower favored by hummingbirds.
Unlike the Flame Vine it blooms bright yellow or
orange in summer and thrives in hot summer/cold
winter areas. Even if it has frozen to the ground
in winter, it shoots up, attaching itself by small
rootlets that cling to wood or stucco. The rootlets
can cause some damage to stucco.
A third drought-tolerant plants to
provide hummingbird food is the versatile
Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis). It
can be pruned into a shrub, grown on a trellis or pergola as
a vine, or allowed to grow up a steep, dry slope as ground
cover. Like the Flame Vine it starts blooming in fall.
(Feijoa sellowiana) can be planted as a small tree.
and it produces fruits in the fall which make a good
and red flowers can be used in your fruit salad, if you
wish, but leave the flowers on the tree and the
hummingbirds will fly straight in for the nectar.
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Throw away your hummingbird
After you have planted some
hummingbird favorites, discard that hummingbird feeder in
your back yard. At the very least, stop putting sugar
water in it and keep it only as a garden ornament. The
nectar from these plants is far better for hummingbirds'
health than sugar water.
More gardening news for you
Our 9 Most Popular Hot Gardens
Flowering plants that reliably bloom in scorching mid-summer heat.
Australian plants and trees that grow well in hot, dry climates.
Weather-proofing palms for winter; cold weather palm trees.
4. A white garden
for night time
Topiary can be easy to create
and add charm to your garden.
Techniques to combat death by heat exhaustion of plants in pots.
Cactus as security barriers
for your property.
South African aloes
brilliant late winter color in your garden.
Frugal gardening tips to save you money.
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